Ericka Scott

Beckon the Dark

Cover for Beckon the Dark

November 2011
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Will falling in love break the curse…or fulfill it?

Ten years ago, Kya Washington and Ben Yamamoto were caught up in a series of tragic events at the Hopes Peak Lighthouse. After the deaths of their classmates and the incarceration of their professor, they went their separate ways. Kya vowed never to set foot on the site again until a mysterious client pays her too much money to say ‘no’. Ben is now the host of a popular paranormal television show. He, too, received an invitation he couldn’t refuse.

For these two paranormal investigators, hauntings are nothing new. Falling in love is. Are their feelings real or the result of an ancient curse? Will they live long enough to discover the difference, or are they next in line to be permanent residents of the most haunted lighthouse in California?

Read an Excerpt

Crescent Cove, present day

Kya Washington took one look at the Hopes Peak Lighthouse and almost drove away without looking back. What in the world had she been thinking when she had agreed to conduct this investigation?

She let the car idle in the small parking lot reserved for the lighthouse keepers. Weeds grew in a wild riot in the cracks of the pavement, testament that no one had lived here for fifty years, not since the lighthouse had been automated. Right now, the sun shone brightly. Too brightly. The reflection from the large lens inside the structure gave the illusion that the beacon had already been lit. Dark clouds skulking along the horizon warned of an impending storm. Kya shivered.
A quaint, two-story Victorian, known as Beacon House, squatted at the base of the one-hundred-seventy-five foot obelisk topped with a glass-encased room housing the Fresnel lens. Since the lighthouse was currently unoccupied, Kya honestly thought both structures should be demolished. However, every few years, the lighthouse served its purpose and kept a ship at bay off the coast. Public opinion held that as long as the lighthouse operated automatically, it was harmless. Or so people thought.

Last year, the Crescent Cove historical society had petitioned to have the structures declared a national treasure. Now, as part of the state’s historical preservation act, they couldn’t be destroyed. Nor could they be restored, for no renovation crew would set foot inside the lighthouse or the house…twice.

A small black sedan occupied a front space in the lot, but its driver was nowhere in sight. Kya’s customer could already be inside either structure. Damn. She’d wanted to get the jump on him, literally. Arriving early, in her experience, almost always resulted in surprising hoaxers in the midst of preparing a false haunt. Of course, that probably wasn’t the case this time, for the house next to the lighthouse was well and truly haunted.

So, now what? Did she dare go into it? She closed her eyes and felt around inside her psyche for a sign. There was no vision, no small voice whispering, not even a glimmer of a premonition to indicate what to do.

Damn it.

With a heavy sigh, she realized her only course of action was to unload her equipment from the car. She popped the trunk. A sudden wind whipped hair into her face. Aggravated, she pulled it back and secured it in a pony tail with the black scrunchie she wore on her wrist. Her bright pink duffle bag containing a change of clothes and a few necessary toiletries sat beside a large, hard-shelled black suitcase containing an EMF meter, a digital camera, a tape recorder, and a digital thermometer. The well-known trappings of a paranormal investigator. Also tucked into the case were a couple of items unique to her own investigations: a chemical test kit, a crystal ball, and a Ouija board. She hefted both bags out and slammed the trunk.

The noise should alert her anonymous client of her arrival. The unknown customer who had paid in advance, and very generously, too.

Normally, she wouldn’t grouse. Money was money. For once, she’d been able to pay the rent on the tiny office housing K&S Psychic Investigations on time. She’d also shipped off a chunk of cash to the credit union for her car payment. And to her astonishment, money had still been left over to allow her to purchase other necessities like the ramen noodles she subsisted on these days. No, she couldn’t back out now.

Carrying her cases, she walked toward the door. A gull cried overhead and the sound made her jump. Everything looked exactly the same as it had ten years ago and, for all she knew, it could have been the same damn bird that had greeted her that afternoon.

Oh, she had a really bad feeling about this.